I sat at the kitchen counter and watched the whole thing unfold. I nervously held my breath as he first tried the garbage disposal, then attempted to plunge the backed-up kitchen sink, to no avail. The 10 liter fermentation crock sat empty on the counter in plain view, exposing my secret. He was too distracted to put two-and-two together, I guess.
Earlier that afternoon, I had checked on my latest lacto fermentation project. Two extra-large heads of cabbage, five giant carrots, and a healthy portion of love had gone into my homemade sauerkraut. At some point over the course of the week, however, the water in the water channel of my crock evaporated. Or, the stupid cat drank it, there is no telling. No water in the water channel equals outside air contamination, which in turn equals mold. Sure enough, a fuzzy white film had formed over the top of the sauerkraut brine. Exasperated at the waste of time and money, I dumped the contents of the crock into my kitchen sink and turned on the disposal.
In hindsight, I should have realized that feeding the disposal handful after handful of tainted kraut was a bad idea. The enormity of the situation should have further sunk in when the garbage disposal started making a funny whirring sound. This was a lot of fucking sauerkraut, people. But, it didn’t sink in. Nor was the kraut easily disposed of.
“I don’t get it,” exclaimed Martin that night, scratching his head in confusion as to what could have backed up the kitchen sink. With a forced puzzled look on my face I grunted in thoughtful contemplation. My husband disappeared to the garage for a bit and came back with his plumber’s snake. That little gem has saved our asses plenty of times. Like when the youngest got on a “let’s see what I can flush down the toilet” kick. Only this time, it was my “let’s see how much sauerkraut I can force down the kitchen drain” ordeal.
God love him… My Marty, a self-proclaimed jack of all trades, master of none. My own personal auto mechanic, electrician, carpenter, pool boy, landscaper, tile fitter, painter, cement mason, plumber, and a million other titles. I couldn’t bear to tell him the truth – that it was me, his own wife, that attempted to sabotage our home plumbing. I’m normally not this naïve. I am a fairly self-sufficient gal, and would fare higher on the common sense scale than most of my gender counterparts. Except this time. I’m blaming it on my recent sinus infection and overall terrible sense of wellbeing.
I gladly assumed all of the nightly household duties without complaint. School/work lunches packed, homework checked, living room picked up, nightly stories read, and kids tucked into bed, I left my husband to cuss and throw water all over my kitchen and got ready for bed. Sitting in bed I flipped through a magazine while I patiently waited for Martin to complete his task. Whether he finally noticed the little bits of sauerkraut floating in the backed-up sink water, my empty crock, or the fact that for once I wasn’t demanding explanations or putting my two cents into the reason for the clog, he knew. He knew…
“Did you push all of that sauerkraut down the disposal?” He asked, walking into our bedroom later that evening, as he dried his hands on a towel. My husband has learned that my eyes are sure-way sign to tell if I am lying or not. I slumped down further under the covers and hid behind the magazine I was reading. This little act didn’t escape him either.
“Honey,” he sighed.
“Okay, I did it!” I blurted out. I was busted, and there was no way around it. Once my secret was out, I sang like a canary.
“I didn’t realize how much sauerkraut there really was…. I mean, I have put way more down the drain before… I mean, I think I have… I know that we aren’t supposed to put anything down the disposal that we wouldn’t eat, but I figured, I eat sauerkraut, so…. I… Uh… Um… I am sorry…” I hung my head in defeat. Those three little words don’t come easy to me, so when spoken, they are done so in the most sincerest of apologies.
Martin just sort of laughed at me. I expected an extensive reprimanding, especially since I had kept quiet about the 32 cups of sauerkraut shoved down the drain, even when he was elbow deep in dirty sink water. I hadn’t said a word as he wedged his body uncomfortably in the void under the sink. I was mute as he was doused in putrid p-trap water.
I feel like a horrible wife. I really should strive to be more understanding, forgiving, and empathetic when the roles are reversed and I am at my wit’s end with some shenanigans that my husband has pulled. Although, maybe I should wait and see how tolerant and forgiving of a person he really is…. as soon as the kitchen sink is unclogged.